Projects / Culture
Arctic Culture Centre, Hammerfest
The Arctic Culture Centre is the first step in the development of a large area along the seafront in Hammerfest town centre, and provides the area with new functions and a distinctive architectural character.
Published 05 Mar, 2009
Hammerfest, the world’s northernmost town, lies on the coast of northern Norway as a natural centre for the region. Its location close to the North Cape makes the city one of the most important tourist destinations of the area, with over 250 000 visitors each year. The new culture centre is visible both from the sea and from land, adding a major feature to the townscape. An external skin of glass is lit up by LED lighting in the colours of ice and northern lights through the long, dark winters. In summer, the lights are turned off, and the “Hammerfest-red” wooden panelling is visible behind the glass. The culture centre is organised in compact units, creating spaces with different degrees of public access. Internal and external public areas form social arenas that link the centre to Hammerfest town. In keeping with the principles of the proposed town plan, whereby public spaces are to connect the town with the water, the foyer is expressed as an open, climatised public space between Strandgata and the quay. “The Arctic Arena”, an outdoor auditorium, is conceptually like the other spaces that connect the main street with the North Sea, but this public space does not lie between buildings, but under a cantilevered volume. It forms the start (or end) of the development and is the face of the centre towards the town. Transparent façades reveal the activities within the building, which, while meeting the requirements regarding professional dramatic art and cinema, is also an open and accessible location for many different users. Universal design and accessibility for all members of the public has been important. To help visually impaired persons, there are directional guide lines in the floors in public areas. Walls and doors are colour-coded.